Stimulus package to help spark Townsville CBD

Townsville City Council is now targeting investment and job creation in the city with a package of economic incentives to drive new commercial development in the CBD.

The package was formulated with the development industry and includes major concessions on Council charges and planning requirements for new CBD projects completed by 2015.

Developers of new buildings that can be shown to increase the number of new people living and working in the CBD will be offered reduced head works charges, fast tracking of approvals, increased construction hours and remissions on rates, utility fees and charges during the construction of projects.

The CBD Core area, centred on Flinders Street, will attract full concessions while the CBD Greater area will also benefit receiving 50 per cent of the discounts. New development generated by this incentive will have a major return to the community through increased economic and social activity in the precinct and an increase in the existing rate base in the CBD at a compounding rate annually.

Planning Committee Chairman Councillor, David Crisafulli said package is important to create the right conditions for new development and job creation in the CBD on the back of Flinders Street redevelopment and ongoing work being done through the CBD Masterplan.

He said the package would send a powerful message to property owners and developers that Townsville is intent on fast tracking projects and creating job opportunities.

"Our target in the CBD Master Plan is to have 30,000 people living and working in the inner city by 2030 and the incentives package is critical to create the right conditions to attract the commercial and residential projects we need to reach that milestone," he said.

"The incentives package is putting Townsville out there on the front foot in attracting good development and economic opportunities that create jobs and a great lifestyle. We are providing the financial incentive for property owners to get going on projects sooner."

CBD Taskforce chairman Craig Stack said the package would enable Townsville to engage the national development community on investment opportunities in the inner city.

"The population density target by 2030 is a measurable target and, if reached, would require nearly $2 billion of new development," he said. "The benefits of targeting this quantum of development for our region include a slowdown in urban sprawl, the growth of a significant node for public transport and infrastructure in our CBD and an immediate catchment for major retailers.

"This program is designed to stimulate new building activity as soon as we can by enabling a cost competitive environment for new development. In a defined area such as the CBD, new development can be used to significantly improve the public realm and this improvement is important for the benefit of existing residents and visitors to our region."